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"One third of charity managers" unaware of staff and volunteer vetting rules

A third of charity managers and trustees across the country are unaware of the Government’s recently introduced requirements to vet staff and volunteers, according to a survey by specialist charity insurer Ecclesiastical.
Of those surveyed, 32% of those surveyed said they were not aware of the new requirements introduced by the 2006 Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act.
The Vetting and Barring Scheme was introduced by the Government in October 2009. Developed as a response to the Soham murders, the scheme applies to anyone working with children or vulnerable adults and requires them to have a criminal record check.
Cultural charities were the least aware, with 45% of managers and trustees saying they did not know about the new rules. For youth charities, which might be expected to be more aware of the issue, the figure was still 20%.
A quarter of those surveyed thought that the Act would not have the desired effect of increasing protection for vulnerable groups. Furthermore, 16% of charity managers and trustees said they felt the introduction of the rules would deter new volunteers, and 6% said they felt it could have an impact on their existing volunteers’ willingness to stay involved.
Steve Wood, Managing Director of Ecclesiastical Insurance, commented: “We wanted to see how charities were dealing with the new vetting and barring rules because failure to implement them correctly could lead to litigation and significant costs for charities”.
The telephone study was conducted for Ecclesiastical during November 2009 and surveyed a representative sample of 142 charities.